Not massively changed: still great beer, still rammed full on a Saturday. A great pub, with my only criticism being the snacks: four quid for a pork pie, and the misrepresentation of olives as a pub snack. Surprisingly, our party, ranging from early 20s to mid-fifties, pushed down the average age a bit…
We visited twice in the same evening- early on and later, and both times this was pleasant. Good staff, great beer, pleasant atmosphere, and right in the town. Music was either absent or quiet enough to talk over, but conversation kept the place lively without being grim.
Considerably less grim than my last visit, and drinkable Pedigree, and apparently doing the Gin thing quite well, according to one of our party. It’s still a typical town-centre pub, but it looks a bit smarter and the music didn’t eliminate all conversation.
Lovely micropub right in the middle of town. We got in on our second attempt; like most micropubs the popularity exceeds the capacity. Great beer, very riendly staff and no music or machines to drown out conversation. About the only problem was having to stand at the bar.
Not significantly chnaged since last time, but as the last visit was a long time ago and I don’t come here often, I’ll update: Boondoggle and Pedigree on draught, both very good. Thankfully Micky fabricant wasn’t here this time either.
Fradley Junction, Fradley, near Lichfield:
I’d not been to The Swan for years, mostly because it’s not easy to get to for me- it’s way off public transport, and not the easiest to find without a map. However, I was being chauffeured, as I was unable to walk far or drive, and a family member took pity and got me out of the house for a change.
The Swan Inn is lovely. Very traditional, and by the canalside it has a great location to sit outside and watch the boats pass. The beer was great, and the staff helpful and friendly. About the only disadvantage is that it gets very, very busy at popular times, especially in the summertime.
Near Fradley, Lichfield
Just a few hours after whinging about them, I find myself in a chain-pub “restaurant”. In my defence, it was on the way home; an awkwardly-timed appointment in Burton-upon-Trent saw us heading south back home without having eaten, so we called in. I was last here over 10 years ago, and I think I recall a traditional pub. The old building still looks attractive, but it shares its site with a Premier Inn, has become a behemoth collection of buildings, and is part of the Fayre & Square chain, itself a brand of the Spirit Pub Company. See what they did there? It sells Fayre, at a fair and square price, and *giggle* some of the food is square (the burgers). How very whimsical, I do believe my sides have split.
It was OK, as a better alternative than McDonalds or the chippy, and it was pretty cheap (£17 for 2 meals, a soft drink, and a large wine). There was cask ale, and a good choice of other stuff. There’s a wacky warehouse for kids to run about in, though that didn’t stop some parents letting theirs run about the place (fortunately, as it’s a big place, we went to the other end and escaped them). The food was serviceable, rather than exceptional, and the menu standard family feedbag stuff (PDF, 11MB). Staff were nice enough, but a bit corporate training manual:
“Pint of lime & soda please”
“Is that a large or a small?”
Overall, you could do worse, but you’re not going to get atmosphere or haute cuisine.
This was described by one BITE user as being an “up market ‘spoons” which seems fair enough. Beer was OK, all the usual suspects and a few real ales. Standard chain-pub food menu, and a few chavs, even in la-di-dah Lichfield. Not horrific by any means, but not marvellous either: TVs showing football, but sound muted and quietish music.
What a very nice pub this is. It’s a short walk from the main shopping streets, and is a traditional community boozer with an impressive selection of real ale. There’s food on offer- but not when we were there (around 9pm), so it was just people enjoying a drink. There was a TV on in the lounge, but the sound was thankfully off. Lichfield’s fashionable lot seemed to thankfully be absent too, so this, coupled with the beer and the pleasant staff made for a nice few pints.